The Russian government may seek a third shareholder for metals giant Norilsk Nickel to settle the row over board seats between Rusal and Interros, a Russian business daily said on Wednesday.
RusAl, owned by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, and Interros holding company, controlled by tycoon Vladimir Potanin, have been embroiled in a bitter shareholder row over influence at Norilsk Nickel after RusAl lost one seat on Norilsk's board at the June 28 annual shareholders meeting.
RusAl now has only three seats, whilst Interros has kept four seats. Both companies own a 25 percent stake in Norilsk.
"The enterprise is big and it is not good that such a serious conflict has broken out between the shareholders," a Kremlin official told Vedomosti daily, adding that it is necessary to find a third major shareholder to settle the dispute.
Vedomosti said Norilsk Nickel already had another principal shareholder: Russian mining magnate Alisher Usmanov, but sources close to Usmanov denied he had any plans to increase his stake.
RusAl earlier said an independent body was needed to settle the row.
"The situation can only be settled through the appointment of an independent professional management team that will apply the highest standards of corporate governance and will be able to propose an action plan to raise the company's capitalization in the interests of all of its shareholders," the company said.